Do you feel overwhelmed, and stretched in so many directions? You’re probably wishing you could simplify your life. While you don’t have control over every complication that comes your way, there are ways that you can be sure that you’re not adding to it!
Life is full of ebbs and flows, hills and valleys. After all of the deepest, most painful times I’ve seen; I’ve learned that it is somehow always okay in the end. This is a knowing that I’ve come to embrace in my older and wiser self.
The one aspect that I have not completely mastered, however, is how to simplify life for myself. I’m working on it as much as I can every day.
I started this blog to help others in their own journey to living out their dream life, to help them create more passion for life, and to encourage people to dare to ask for more out of their lives.
First, however, I think it’s important for me to open up and be vulnerable with my readers, to better humanize myself. You all deserve to know that I’m still learning, too.
You see, my life is still very much complicated in some ways. Even after spending the time needed to organize my day, severing ties with poisonous relationships, and letting go of some habits and distractions that did nothing more for me than occupy my time, I am still learning how to simplify my life.
In this post, I hope to not only demonstrate how simplicity was a great way to be true to my own authentic self, but to invite you to join me and learn how to simplify your life as well.
Who am I, anyway? This is a question that we all ask ourselves from time to time, and the funny thing is, we seem to answer it differently each time, depending upon the circumstances or seasons we’re experiencing at the moment.
As I have aged, I realize that there are aspects about me that stay consistent. I know that I like to feel relaxed. I know that I like to be fully focused on one task at a time. When circumstances arise that shape my life in a way that goes against these characteristics, I feel a sense of craze.
I am continuously searching for my inner zen these days. The divorce did me in, folks, I’m not gonna lie. Sure, I began that journey for good reason, and I don’t regret it, because I can see now with open eyes that we weren’t growing together as a couple.
Nonetheless, it’s been an emotional and complicated process. To add to that, dissolving the corporation for my spa business has been a long, dull headache. In between, I’m working to build a life for my kids and myself in a new state.
Having a home-based business affords me the time and attention for my children, and allows me the time that I want to devote to my fitness. Though, in all honesty, everything seems to be a bit overwhelming at times for just little ol’ me.
I could go on, but I think it’s time to talk about you now!
Using strategies to simplify your life
I don’t know what I would do without meditation and visualization. Those two techniques are absolutely invaluable for dealing with the many complexities of life. Sure, we do have the extrinsic actions that slowly get us where we want to go in life, and it’s good to make use of these strategies.
The thing is, you need to also understand that without a certain amount of clarity and focus known as intrinsic actions, you will never create your dream life.
The physical actions get the tasks scratched off of the list, after all – so it’s good that we already recognize that they are important. However, it’s just as important to further understand that you can get even even more done by visualizing and meditating.
When I start to feel overwhelmed, the first step I take to conquer this feeling is to change it. First, I take an objective look at what is happening in my life that goes against the concept of simplicity, and I challenge myself to envision of the opposite of that.
Because attaching emotions to thoughts makes them so much more effective, I also think about exactly how it would feel to simplify my life. It feels like a weight being lifted every time.
In this process for yourself, identify what is happening in your own life that is feeling “heavy”. Then, flip it around to find the opposite of that, and ask yourself… “how would that feel?” I usually answer…”that feels bright and happy.”
When you find these pleasant new describing words, this is your cue to stay in that moment, and keep meditating on it. Envision how it will feel to have a simpler life after you start making strides in that direction.
Think about what you could do today – no matter how small – to simplify your life, beginning with just tomorrow.
- Your morning routine may help you start a smooth flow for today, but a nightly routine can help build a better, easier tomorrow, too. Could you use tonight’s spare time to prepare tomorrow’s breakfast? Could you prepare tomorrow’s outfit for work?
- Are there any needless distractions that cause you to fall behind schedule? Often, “I’m only sitting down to check my e-mail” is a promise made to ourselves with good intentions, but it never seems to be just checking your e-mail. Wait to do the little things until your priorities are out of the way. Little things may look little at first, but can quickly grow bigger when we place them as a priority over what’s already a big thing.
- Is there someone in your home that complicates your life? Maybe you have a child or spouse that creates complication by making messes, leaving things disorganized, or misplacing things that you have a home for. Communicate to them that they can play a role in helping you achieve a simpler life, and stress that you would see it as love. Never start this conversation sounding accusatory or angry – instead, get straight to the point and stay in the positive: “It would make me feel so good if you did ___. My life would be a lot easier, and it would be a big way for you to show that you care!”
In the spirit of working to embrace simplicity, I’d like to end this with some reflections for you to meditate on.
I embrace simplicity.
I scale down my expectations, focus on essentials, and clear away distractions. I avoid the stress that comes with perfectionism. I devote all of my energy to one task at a time. I would rather finish one thing well than do two things quickly.
I focus on quality over quantity. I buy few, but very nice things to dress myself and my home, rather than buying many, cheaply-made things just to occupy space.
I pare down my to-do list and streamline my work. I identify my priority tasks and tackle them first.
I embrace the relationships that matter. I spend time with family and friends who give me encouragement and support. I network with colleagues who share my vision and compliment my strengths. I limit interactions that tend to drain me.
Today, I live by the saying that less is more. I remember that simplicity saves me time, money, and energy. I focus on what will benefit me, and minimize the rest.
Questions to ask yourself for how to simplify your life:
- What is the distinction between being busy and being productive?
- What ways would simplicity benefit me? Would I be happier? Would I be in a better mood for everyone else if I wasn’t always so stressed out?
- What is one low-priority activity that I could cut out of my weekly schedule?
About the Author: Sharon Koenig is a certified life coach, and the founder of Fearless Pursuits. Her goal is to teach you how to be happy, how to find more passion for life, and to reach your full potential. For more information, visit About Sharon Koenig.
Less really is more… words to live by. Each time I get a wild hair to organize a room, it’s oddly liberating to watch the trash bags and the donate bags fill up 🙂
It’s taken me years to change the mindset I held onto during my youth that our success is defined by how much we own, and I’ve really judged myself in the past for not chasing after the same turbulent lifestyle that my girlfriends did that was filled to the brim with activities. It’s a peaceful feeling to accept simplicity (and to be okay with being just a little bit lazy!)
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